My Journey as a Writer
Updated: Apr 23, 2020
For school, I had to write a personal narrative talking about something important in my life. Naturally, I decided to talk about writing. I'm proud of it so I decided to share it here.
My Journey as a Writer
It feels like a few months have passed since I began my journey as a writer, when in reality it’s been seven years. To put that in perspective, that means that writing has been a large part of my life for a bit over half of it. Naturally, when you engage in such a hobby for such a large amount of time it’s going to teach you a few things, and for me it’s taught me more than I could fathom. I’ve learned more than enough from writing to warrant at least sixty pages of text, but to keep this brief I’ll be presenting the three main things writing has taught me. But to obtain a better understanding of how writing has impacted me, I’ll have to start by describing the very day I began writing as a serious hobby. I remember looking at the pitch-black Wi-Fi router, an endless void of disappointment and frustration. I had been looking at it for about 5 minutes, hoping desperately that it would turn on. But there was no miracle for me that day. I slammed a fist onto the desk, shoving my back into the chair behind me in anger. Being the uninspired seven-year-old that I was, I didn’t know anything else I could do with my time other than to play in my backyard or use the computer. I couldn’t go outside, and the Wi-Fi had been down for the past few weeks, so I felt pulverized by boredom. My hopes crushed, I leaned back into my springy office chair, pushing myself to discover anything I could do to distract myself from boredom, but it was no use. A grueling twenty minutes passed in what seemed like hours, and I wasn’t any closer to entertaining myself. I heard footsteps brush lightly against the wooden floor outside the room I stood in, and soon I saw the door swing open gently as my sister entered the room. “What are you doing?” She asked curiously. I sighed. “Nothing; that’s the problem. Since the wifi’s been down I can’t do anything on the computer.” “That’s rough,” she replied blankly. “I would offer to go outside but…” she pointed out the window, where countless rain drops pounded against the asphalt, where trees were being bent like plastic straws, and where lightning pierced the sky like blue paint on a giant white canvas. “Yeah,” I said with a deep sigh. “Hopefully tomorrow it’ll clear up.” “Well, I hope you find something to do,” my sister declared, exiting the room. Blankly and without direction, I decided to turn on the computer, which was practically useless without Wi-Fi. My fingers battered down on the keys sloppily, and after a bit, I was logged into the computer. Desperately, I scanned the computer screen thoroughly for anything even remotely entertaining. Suddenly, I had an idea. As far as I could recall, I knew that Microsoft Word could be used offline. This almost excited me for a moment, until I remembered that it was the Microsoft Word. It wasn’t a game or anything even remotely entertaining in my mind: it was writing tool. I looked around the room, sighing as I realized that, quite pathetically in my mind, this was the best I could do. I opened Microsoft Word with some reluctance, starting a blank document. I remember writing some basic two or three-page narratives in class, and I remembered that I enjoyed writing them, but other than that, I had little experience. So, being bored out of my mind, I devised the most basic, contrived plot to a fantasy novel imaginable and began typing in a laughably massive size 30 Times New Roman Font. I proceeded to write for the next four hours, and I loved every second of it. Little did I know, those four hours of writing would be the first to countless more. I’m sometimes surprised by how vividly I remember the first time I began writing as a hobby. I remember the feeling of writing the first draft of my novel, fondly. I felt empowered more and more with every word I wrote, and soon I found myself devoting countless hours to writing on that draft. In the coming years, I went through a seemingly endless cycle of writing. I would write a draft up to about page 80 or so, decide I didn’t like it for whatever reason and restart with a slightly different plot. Ultimately, I found that with each draft I wrote, my writing got better. As I looked through each draft, I discovered that my passages became more descriptive, my vocabulary broadened, my plot became clearer, my themes became more apparent, and my characters became more realistic and lifelike. I considered my writing to be like a precious gem, which has to go through several stages of polishing and cutting before it becomes flawless. That brings me to what I consider the first lesson writing taught me: that through continuous failure, drastic improvement can be made. As I look through my old writing, I find that the mere experience of writing is what helped me to improve. In my opinion, the best way to develop a skill is to try it at first with your best effort and learn from the inevitable failures that follow. A few years later, when I was eleven years old, I discovered a locally hosted young-writer contest that was open to submission for short stories. I fell in the right age range, so I wrote a short story in a few weeks and submitted it, not knowing what may come of it. I felt intimidated as I heard that there were 768 contestants in my category alone, but I held out hope that I could do well. A few months later, I found out that I was one of the ten finalists selected from that category, and suddenly I felt a warm feeling of accomplishment brew inside of me. This was what I considered my first achievement in writing, and it would encourage my endeavors in writing for years to come. I didn’t win any placement in that contest, but to me, it didn’t seem to matter. This brings me to the second lesson writing taught me: perspective and attitude shapes our reality. If I had entered the contest with the sole purpose of winning, I would have been dreadfully disappointed by the results. Luckily, I didn’t make the mistake of doing so. I entered the contest mainly for the experience of having my work judged, and when I found myself as a finalist, I felt that I’d achieved enough in that alone. Would I have enjoyed winning? Sure. But that’s not what truly mattered to me, so when I didn’t, I didn’t feel as disappointed. It was all due to my perspective on the matter. A year later, on my twelfth birthday, my mother surprised me by setting up this blog for me. I was ecstatic at the idea of having an outlet to share my writing, thoughts, and ideas. To say the least, I write a lot on this blog. I have absolute freedom of topics on that blog: I'm able to write about everything from my own experiences, short stories, informative essays, and even political issues. It is oddly therapeutic for me to look at the problems in the world and find creative ways to present and possibly help them. That leads me to the third lesson writing has taught me: hardship is what you make of it. When hardship and brokenness become apparent in the world, it is a person’s choice if they’d rather submit to it or speak out against it. I believe that as Christians, it is our moral obligation to call out injustice in the world and denounce it. And that’s precisely what I try to do in my writing. I look out into the world and find the things I detest the most, and then I incorporate them into my writing in a context that exposes their absurd, destructive malice. I’ve learned countless things from writing: things that will impact my life forever. It’s rather curious to think that something so insignificant as a bored seven-year-old can lead to something so life-changing and impactful. To this day, I’m still working endlessly in the hopes to publish someday a novel that changes people’s lives in the way writing has changed mine.